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New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
Kutaki Postmaster
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I got my copy at the Narita airport on the 16th of june (release date in Japan), just moments before leaving Japan. I read it from cover to cover on the flight home.

Im suprised no one else has started a discussion about it.

I found it very nicely done with new footage of a young Hatsumi sensei as well as of Takamatsu sensei. The pictures are great as usual.

For those that has missed it, it contains descriptions of the unarmed Ryu-ha kata from Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu as well as Togakure Ryu (althoug the santo tonko no gata of Togakure Ryu is not in this book). It also contains descriptions on kihon happo and san shin no kata.

Those who havent bought it yet...go buy it!
Those who have it...whats your impression?

The only negative thing I can think of is that I´ve found several translation errors from the japanese texts (which are in the back of the book). Especially those on the kata irritate me since it makes it harder to use as a reference guide without checking the japanese text first...

Best Regards / Skuggvarg

Posted on: 2008/6/24 17:59
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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These "errors" are discussed on this...

http://henka.wordpress.com/


Marty

Posted on: 2008/6/24 18:39
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Quote:

skuggvarg wrote:
Especially those on the kata irritate me since it makes it harder to use as a reference guide without checking the japanese text first...


Isn't that a good thing, keeps one alert and not resting on what one thinks one already knows?


Posted on: 2008/6/24 19:28
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Ari Julku
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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I have had a chance to read this book and think it's excellent. There is a huge amount of information in it - and to my knowledge it's the first time that any official material has been put out by the hombu about the ryuha in print. (All the notes and stuff floating around are not official publications and most have huge holes in them.)

Up until now the only official santioned reference materials from the hombu have been the quest videos - and the Japanese books. However, unless I've missed something, those don't include the ryuha gata.

As someone said earlier - there are a few translation errors in the new book but you'd have to be a total pedant to be annoyed about this, given the amount of 'new' material in here.

Anyway, it has all the main waza from the six schools, and in some cases, such as Shinden Fudo Ryu, for the very first time, the ura gata futatsu have been published alongside the omote waza - so that alone is going to be new to 90 per cent of people. The Santo Tonko no Kata is missing from the Togakure Ryu chapter, but then it was published in the Way of the Ninja book, so I'd guess Soke and Kodansha thought it would be overkill to republish the same material. The book also has chapters on kihon waza, taihenjutsu, sanshin and kihon happo in addition to the chapters on the ryuha. There's also an essay prefacing each ryuha's contents and these are very vey interesting.

Every dan grade in the Bujinkan absolutely has to own this book. It's an astonishing reference work.

This book doesn't contain Soke's budo, but in my opinion it does contain the building blocks of Soke's budo, and everyone of 1st dan to 10th dan would be well advised to devour this book and use it as a training guide. Obviously, the written waza are no use without a teacher to help you learn the waza, but people have just been handed a pretty awesome helping hand up by Soke.

For years he's been saying that the techniques aren't important, and that you should be willing to throw them away. In this book, I think he's putting his money where his mouth is - you can now lay down your $20 or whatever it costs and essentially get handed the transmitted waza of six ryuha. He's freely making this information available to anyone who wants it. That's pretty impressive.

I can imagine him saying "You want waza? Here you go. Good luck!"

Posted on: 2008/6/24 19:46
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Quote:

Cuchulain wrote:
(...)
I can imagine him saying "You want waza? Here you go. Good luck!"


Alex, thank you so much for taking time and sharing your insights.
What you wrote is very thought provoking for me.

Quote:

Cuchulain wrote:
(...)
Up until now the only official santioned reference materials from the hombu have been the quest videos - and the Japanese books. However, unless I've missed something, those don't include the ryuha gata.


I am still waiting for my copy of the book - pre-ordered in April, supposed to come from amazon on July 1st...
About videos... Form what you write and from what I heard it seems to me that last 3-4 years we actually had DKMS that could be directly used as companions for this book - a lot of ruyha kata was shown.

regards
mn

Posted on: 2008/6/25 7:31
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Mariusz
San Francisco Bujinkan Dojo
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Although the kata serve as a point of departure, they represent the exact opposite found in combat. Regardless of the martial art, kata are simply “connect the dots” exercises where the practitioner focuses on making it to the next step or “anchor point” (oh...the pleasure of stability!) However, this stability will not be found in combat. Maybe that is why a certain someone always says, “Don’t be in the fight.”

Why do we practice kata? Kata are simply movement initiators. Hatsumi Sensei’s dojo is where the “dots” disappear and the universe blooms. This new book is a wonderful reference for budoka who are experiencing ishi soden. For those who are not, well, good luck...

There are many people out there who are very talented martial artists and start to explore and create worlds in-between the steps of the kata which may happen to be very effective. However, one must be very careful in distinguishing this form of self-creativity from ishi soden. Within the Bujinkan, creativity occurs based on Hatsumi Sensei's FEELING (his approach, whatever you want to call it) which is shown in EVERY SINGLE CLASS. Whether or not this feeling is felt by the majority is another issue.


Thomas Curran
Tokyo, Japan

Posted on: 2008/6/26 14:01
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Quote:

raitei12110 wrote:

This new book is a wonderful reference for budoka who are experiencing ishi soden. For those who are not, well, good luck...

...

Thomas Curran
Tokyo, Japan



Hi Thomas,

Are you saying that the book will only be useful for those training in Japan under Hatsumi Sensei? Do you think that he only published it for those training with him in Japan? Just wanting to clarify.

Also, when you talk about experiencing isshi souden, what length of time are you talking about. Someone who comes over and participates in a few classes? Stays for 1 month? 3 months? 1 year? I'm wondering where you personally draw the line and make that definition about who is experiencing isshi souden and who isn't.

Curious,

Shawn
(一子相伝 : いっしそうでん)

Posted on: 2008/6/26 14:53
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Hello Shawn,

I think that it is obvious that Soke writes all his books for the masses since they are easily accessible (same applies to his DVDs). For people not in the Bujinkan, the book will serve as a catalyst which may encourage them to join. Experienced practitioners will benefit from it if they know how to approach it. Another idea to ponder is straight from the source: "I write books to help people who are training with me now. If you only read the books but you don’t come to Japan to train, they won't do you any good."


Quote:

Also, when you talk about experiencing isshi souden, what length of time are you talking about. Someone who comes over and participates in a few classes? Stays for 1 month? 3 months? 1 year? I'm wondering where you personally draw the line and make that definition about who is experiencing isshi souden and who isn't.


By answering this question, I guess I will have to draw a line on my neck first. I don’t think it relates to a matter of time. There are many people in the yellow patch group (some residents and non-residents) who have never turned on their “receivers” and probably never will. I am not good at receiving what he is giving and I have been here for 5 years now. There are others who feel they are “getting it” when they actually aren’t.

Being at the source is the minimum requirement. I really wish there was some type of politically correct sentence that I could come up with to satisfy all those who work hard to come to Japan a few times a year. I applaud them for their sincerity and effort. However, this does not change the dynamics of ishi soden. They are trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

一子相伝=1+1=1

Thomas Curran
Tokyo, Japan

Posted on: 2008/6/26 16:47
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Hatsumi-sensei trained under isshi soden with Takamatsu-sensei - you just attend classes.

Maybe saying "I train under isshi soden" sounds a lot grander than just saying "I attend classes in Japan"?

Posted on: 2008/6/26 17:21
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Re: New book by Soke - Unarmed fighting techniques of the Samurai
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Welcome back to Kutaki Duncan!!

Didn't you say that you were "done" with Kutaki last year? I guess you felt the need to come back and clean house. How clean is your house?

I never said I trained under ishi souden. Don't put words in my mouth. I just said that I have been living in Japan and train. It is up to Soke to determine who is a deshi or not.


BTW, where is your place in all of this anyway? Oh yeah, saying things in Japanese to Nagato Sensei like タバコ吸わない gives you a lot of credibility in my book. You seemed very impressed with yourself.


Why don't you take some lessons from Shawn and learn how to approach sensitive matters with a tad more respect. There is a bit more to being a budoka than taking your uke to the ground ever so softly.


Be careful of the glass houses you aim at.


Thomas Curran
Tokyo, Japan

Posted on: 2008/6/26 17:44
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